IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crc/wpaper/1909.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

International City Network and Public-Private Cooperation Japanese Public Water Services’ Overseas Expansion

Author

Listed:
  • Naoki FUJIWARA

    () (Associate Professor, Faculty of Regional Development Studies, Otemon Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan)

Abstract

Urbanization has progressed in parallel with rapid economic development in Asia, and people living in the region’s megacities face severe urban environmental problems, with the water-environment problem being especially serious. Such cities must develop the infrastructure to provide clean water and process sewage in densely populated areas. Meanwhile, water-supply and sewerage services in Japan are conducted by municipalities as a public service, but their revenues are shrinking in response to a decreasing birthrate, an aging population, and the waterconservation movement. In this study, we investigated the overseas expansion of Japanese public water services as an effort to improve the living environment in developing Asian countries and to advance the sustainability of public water services. The research methods included scrutinizing preliminary research, conducting case studies through text analysis of materials issued by national and local governments, and conducting interviews with municipalities. We examined four urban municipal water services, including ones in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, and Kitakyushu, that developed publicprivate cooperative platform associations for expanding abroad. As a result of the research, we first identified the overseas expansion of public water services as a collaborative model—based on an international inter-city network—for solving urban problems. Japan’s water-related public and private sectors have a motivation to share their technologies and experiences of solving urban waterrelated environmental problems with the growing cities of Asia, but it is difficult for Japanese public water services to sustain a unilateral contribution to developing countries because their business environment is becoming less hospitable in a shrinking domestic market. Therefore, with national governmental support, major municipal water services in Japan have aimed to expand their business abroad to achieve regional economic development, relying on trust based on the solidarity and cooperation of the international cities to reduce the transaction cost of international water-related project development. Second, we clarify that the public-private cooperative platform established by the leadership of municipalities enhances the accountability and transparency of the overseas expansion projects of public water services. Municipalities hold themselves accountable to be fair to citizens and stakeholders. The Public and private cooperative platform established by Japanese public water service, as an intermediate organization, not only develops the implementation capacity but also strengthens accountability and transparency of the international public water service 5 expansion projects’ sharing information about the water-environment problems of each cities and selecting project partner companies. Third, we find that the international city networks that municipalities build are evolving from one-to-one mutual networks to multilateral networks. To date, municipalities have developed international sister-city networks that centered more on cultural and educational administrative exchanges. Recent years, however, have witnessed the rise of more pragmatic city networks that focus on problem-solving city liaisons. Municipalities are realizing the efficiency of mutual project-making and of participating in international associations or organizations of cities for specific purposes. They even organize international meetings or conferences at which they seek business partner cities, promote their environment technologies to their region, and enhance their brand images as regional technology hubs.

Suggested Citation

  • Naoki FUJIWARA, 2019. "International City Network and Public-Private Cooperation Japanese Public Water Services’ Overseas Expansion," CIRIEC Working Papers 1909, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
  • Handle: RePEc:crc:wpaper:1909
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hec-cloud01.segi.ulg.ac.be/repec/wp19-09.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roberta Capello, 2000. "The City Network Paradigm: Measuring Urban Network Externalities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 37(11), pages 1925-1945, October.
    2. Kristine Kern & Harriet Bulkeley, 2009. "Cities, Europeanization and Multi-level Governance: Governing Climate Change through Transnational Municipal Networks," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 309-332, March.
    3. Simona FRONE, 2008. "Factors And Challenges Of Regionalization In The Water And Wastewater Sector," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 27(2(36)), pages 185-200, December.
    4. repec:bla:annpce:v:88:y:2017:i:3:p:25-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:taf:eurpls:v:24:y:2016:i:12:p:2175-2196 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Evert Meijers, 2005. "Polycentric Urban Regions and the Quest for Synergy: Is a Network of Cities More than the Sum of the Parts?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 42(4), pages 765-781, April.
    7. Tassilo Herrschel, 2013. "Competitiveness AND Sustainability: Can ‘Smart City Regionalism’ Square the Circle?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 50(11), pages 2332-2348, August.
    8. repec:bla:annpce:v:89:y:2018:i:1:p:25-48 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David F. Batten, 1995. "Network Cities: Creative Urban Agglomerations for the 21st Century," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 32(2), pages 313-327, March.
    10. Kathryn Furlong, 2012. "Good water governance without good urban governance? Regulation, service delivery models, and local government," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(11), pages 2721-2741, November.
    11. repec:taf:cijwxx:v:33:y:2017:i:1:p:4-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cooperative platform; accountability; multilateral network;

    JEL classification:

    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crc:wpaper:1909. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CIRIEC). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ciulgbe.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.